Kenny Chesney Hits the Desert for Spontaneously-Fun “American Kids” Video

Image Courtesy Allister Ann/Sony Music NashvilleKenny Chesney hit the desert with a group of young folks and a multi-colored bus to film his new video for “American Kids.” The clip premieres Monday on Vevo, CMT and Great American Country, and a sneak peek is now posted at ETOnline.com.

Kenny wanted to branch out beyond what fans might expect for the “American Kids” video.  He says, “It’s easy to do a literal video, have a bonfire, hit a small town football field, but I wanted everyone to get out of what they know! It’s when you don’t know, and you’re winging it sometimes, that you have the most fun.”  

“American Kids” is the lead single from Kenny’s upcoming studio album, due out this fall.


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Country Star Trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockWhat is the title of Brett Eldredge‘s debut album? ANSWER: Bring You Back.


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Florida Georgia Line’s Tyler Hubbard Posts Picture of His New ACM Award

Image Courtesy CMAFlorida Georgia Line‘s Tyler Hubbard just received his ACM trophy for Vocal Duo of the Year this week in the mail. He posted a picture of the award on Instagram with the caption, “Dang it’s surreal. Thanks to all who believe in us and works so hard to make our dreams come true. Love y’all #bestfansintheworld.”

Florida Georgia Line’s new single, “Dirt,” will hit the airwaves next month. A new album is expected to follow in the fall.


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Keith Urban Delivers Anniversary Wishes to Nicole Kidman at Australian Concert

Capitol NashvilleHappy anniversary to Keith Urban, who wished the same to his wife, actress Nicole Kidman, while onstage at a concert in Melbourne, Australia, this week.

Wednesday was the couple’s eighth wedding anniversary.  It was also the first of two sellout shows for Keith in Melbourne.  According to the Melbourne newspaper the Herald Sun, the 46-year-old singer dedicated his performance of “Making Memories of Us” to Kidman, declaring, “Eight years, baby girl. This song is for you. I love you so much.”

Kidman was reportedly watching the concert from a VIP sky box at Melbourne’s Rod Laver Arena.

Keith also recalled for the audience how he sang the song to Nicole at their wedding. “This is a song a lot of people have at their wedding. We had it at ours. I sung it. I was too cheap to get anybody else,” he joked.

Earlier in the concert, Keith performed “Once in a Lifetime” and told the audience he was inspired to write the song one day after the then-engaged couple had a discussion about their wedding plans.

“A couple of months before the wedding, we were in our hotel and we were talking about the future and Nic was getting very nervous about marrying me,” Keith recalled.  “She was saying things like ‘it’s a long shot.’ I knew she loved me and was just nervous. I did everything I could to remind her that I was going to be her man forever.”

The couple have two children together.

Keith begins a run of shows in North America, starting July 12 at the Calgary Stampede in Alberta, Canada.


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Nashville Notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockBrett Eldredge is releasing “Mean to Me” as the follow-up to his consecutive #1 hits, “Don’t Ya” and “Beat of the Music.”

Blake Shelton appears on Barbra Streisand‘s upcoming duets album, according to Billboard.


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Lee Brice and Brett Eldredge Create Musical Memories with ACM Lifting Lives Music Campers

Image Courtesy Getty Images/ACM Lifting LivesThe ACM Lifting Lives Music Camp continued this week with campers hitting the studio with Lee Brice. During the session at Nashville’s Ocean Way Studios, the campers joined Lee to sing “Bright Eyes,” the song they wrote Monday with The Band Perry.

“Every day you learn something new, and you learn a new experience every day, and this is a big one for me,” Lee says. “I think they might be some of the most talented musicians. They have big hearts, and they are so bright.”

The campers at the ACM Lifting Lives Music Camp all have Williams Syndrome, a genetic disorder that leads to an intense interest in music. Their musical week continued Wednesday with Brett Eldredge and Wynonna leading the campers in a karaoke session.

Says Brett, “It’s not about disability out here. It’s not about anything. It’s just about everybody sharing a common ground of music and having fun, and that’s a beautiful thing.”

The ACM Lifting Lives campers will cap off the week performing “Bright Eyes” on the Grand Ole Opry Friday night with newcomer Chris Janson. The Swon Brothers and J.T. Hodges have also visited with the campers this week.


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Miranda Lambert Teams with Pedigree to Help Shelter Dogs Get a New Lease on Life

Image Courtesy PedigreeMiranda Lambert shares the story of her animal shelter in Tishomingo, Oklahoma, in a new short film from Pedigree. The pet food company has been donating food to Miranda’s shelter for many years now, and they also have chipped in to help clean and paint the facility and construct agility courses for the dogs.

Miranda says, “I started supporting this shelter to ensure every dog in my hometown would have a safe place to stay and enough food to fill their bellies. And, Pedigree has helped me deliver on both those promises.”

Since moving to Tishomingo, Miranda has personally rescued and fostered about 30 dogs. People in the area know where she and husband Blake Shelton live, so stray dogs tend to show up around their driveway all the time. One of those dogs, a hound dog named Moses, stayed with Miranda before going over to live with her friend, Sara, for a few weeks. Moses then found his forever home.

“[Sara's] dad drove 29 hours from Oregon to pick him up and took him home,” Miranda says with a laugh. “So, he now lives in Oregon. I was like, ‘That is a long drive for a hound dog!’”

Miranda gets a big thrill out of seeing dogs like Moses get a second chance. She says, “They thought they were doomed for good, and then they’re like, ‘Oh, I got a new life.’”

To join Miranda and Pedigree in providing food to shelter dogs, go to Pedigree’s Facebook page and share your dog story today.


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Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium Undergoing Expansion and Renovation Project

Photo Courtesy Hastings Architecture Associates LLCThe Mother Church of Country Music is getting a makeover. Owners of Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium announced on Thursday a $14 million renovation and expansion project that will add an event space and a state-of-the-art tour attraction that will share the Ryman’s history with visitors. A café and expanded retail space also will be added to the Ryman, but the actual auditorium will remain unchanged.

The Ryman Auditorium was the home of the Grand Ole Opry from 1943 to 1974 and is now one of the most celebrated concert venues in the country. The renovation project should be completed by June 2015.


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Trisha Yearwood Balances Double Life as a Singer and Cooking Show Star

Mark Peterson/Food Network MagazineTrisha Yearwood wears two hats: as a Grammy-winning singer and an Emmy-winning host of her own cooking show, Trisha’s Southern Kitchen, on the Food Network. Now, she’s opening up about her double life in the new issue of Food Network Magazine.

When it comes to her singing career, Trisha has always called her own shots. She says, “I learned early on to not let somebody else tell me what songs to record, how to dress, what to say. When I look back on my career, whatever choices I’ve made have been my choices.”

As for her second job as a cooking show host, Trisha has learned it’s best not to shoot in her own kitchen.

She explains, “We shoot 12-hour days with a 30-person crew — you need personal space. We use a house down the road with a big kitchen, so I can come home and just be home.”

For more on Trisha’s dual roles as a singer and cooking show host, pick up the July/August music issue of Food Network Magazine.


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Alan Jackson Signed His First Recording Contract 25 Years Ago Today

Schmidt RelationsThursday is the 25th anniversary of the day Alan Jackson signed his first recording contract with Arista Records. His publicist sent out a photograph of a young Alan signing the papers next to his former record label president Tim DuBois [doo-BWAH] and former manager Barry Coburn.

Alan is celebrating his 25th anniversary in the country music business with a 25-city tour launching next year. On August 29, a new exhibit spotlighting Alan’s career will open at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville. He’s also set to be the Hall’s Artist in Residence, giving a series of intimate performances at the museum. Dates and other details on those shows will be announced soon.


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